Sometimes truth makes incredible story, sometimes, true faith brings about incredible life lessons. I remember being mesmerized regarding the Amish Tragedy in Pennsylvania a few years ago. Being Mennonite myself, and having studied some of the materials of the author of the book, Amish Grace, How Forgiveness Transcends Tragedy by Donald B. Kraybill, I was somewhat interested to see how the Lifetime Television Network did with their made for TV movie now on DVD.
Amish Grace is the story of a milkman Charlie Roberts, played by John Churchill who lives in an Amish community in Pennsylvania. He is distraught after the death of his daughter at birth. He blames God and figures the way to get even with God is to go to an Amish school and kill the children. Based on true events, the story explores the forgiveness offered to the wife of Charlie who is left with three children. In the process of forgiveness within the Amish community, one of the mothers, Ida Graeber, played by Tammy Blanchard, struggles with forgiveness, especially when her faith community has banned, ‘shunned’ (a term used within the religious community) her own daughter for leaving the community and marrying outside of her faith.
Amish Grace is unfortunately, an obvious made for television movie. Missing are the typical top actors, and certain film techniques. The good news is, that while many made for TV movies and series as of recent have been quite exceptional, this isn’t quite up to par too many of those shows. It is however a quite good, well acted, mesmerizing story, and one that is actually quite good for a Cable Network like Lifetime. One of the surprising and appreciative aspects is the respect given to the Amish Community in the filming of the movie, while not compromising some of the appropriate questions about their faith concepts.
The direction provided by Greg Champion is quite good as is the editing by Anita Brandt-Burgoyne. In their work the story evolves quite well, and the truth is, the DVD feature is likely superior to the television story, if for no other reason, the ability for the story to move along without commercial interruption. While there are some questions and some holes in the plotline, they are eventually answered and clarification is given.
The journey involves two women who were impacted by the events. It is here the film causes this reviewer to reflect on a number of issues. Amy, the mother whose husband killed the children at the Amish School, and later killed himself, and Ida an Amish mother whose daughter was killed in the shooting are both women whose faith are important to them. One doesn’t know how one could forgive, and the other doesn’t know why she should forgive when she has been hurt so much by her own faith community. Their journey to discover their own answers to their faith ultimately brings them together, to a place that isn’t easy to arrive at, and a place where most viewers will appreciate. One of the enjoyable things about watching this movie is the progression of the characters and the honesty of how the story is presented. While we see conflicts of faith, and conflicts of belief, we see them in a way where the good and the bad are presented.
One of the things we see presented in Amish Grace in a beautiful way is the complexity of a concept like forgiveness. It is a concept that when truly offered is offered out of love, a love that not many will understand. We also see it presented in a way where we realize it isn’t always easy. The question of who deserves and doesn’t deserve grace and forgiveness is asked in a real and unique way. While many would say that a murderer doesn’t deserve grace we learn to understand that sometimes the lack of grace and forgiveness may have more of an impact on the innocent than we realize.
Amish Grace is one of the best spiritually themed television programs to come about in a long time. The DVD is well worth the retail purchase price and deserving of an audience. One shouldn’t expect to see a top notch theatrical release because that isn’t what this movie is. What it is though is a thought provoking presentation of a people who live by peace, but also at a cost. It searches out in an honest way not just the highlights of their belief system and family oriented communities, it also explores the beliefs that seem to be inconsistent to much of their teachings, especially in the areas of how shunning impacts not just those intended to help, but those who are having to offer the practice. What transpires however in Amish Grace is a discussion and presentation of honesty. One I appreciated and could recommend.
In a world where so many want to condemn and judge, we see a movie where forgiveness and grace are ultimately offered, even to those seemingly not deserving of that love and grace. The amazing thing about what we see is that most of us won’t have an excuse to not try to exhibit this behavior though, because the story is true, and the events all too real. Sometimes those stories, despite them being on television as opposed to the big screen can be just as powerful. That is if given the chance, and Amish Grace is certainly worth giving a chance.
To see a video of the news coverage regarding the shooting click on the following video, if the video don’t appear, click on the following link:
Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid
Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter
Mike Furches on Faceboook.
Click here to visit Mosaic Wichita, the Church in Wichita Kansas where Mike is the pastor.
Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages
Click here for booking information to have Pastor Mike come speak or perform, from speaking to music or magic, something for all groups.
You can also Help The Virtual Pew by shopping on our web site or at Amazon, click here to shop at Amazon and help The Virtual Pew, it won't cost you anything extra, but we get a small percentage of the purchase.
Click to visit with Pastor Mike regarding any of your needs. He will respond to each request personally, and if need be refer you to one of our other pastors.
Click to visit and join the new group The Virtual Pew, at MySpace. Become a part of a different kind of Christian group, check out the page for more information,all welcome, including those who are not followers of Jesus.
Click to visit the Virtual Pew Website and become a part of that ministry.
Click to subscribe to my blog
Click to visit and join our sister group at MySpace Hollywood Jesus.
Click to visit Mary Jane Furches' new MySpace Page
Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at firstname.lastname@example.orgYou can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.
Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217
Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew
Donations to The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew
The Virtual Pew Blog
Personal Furches Web Site
Mary Jane Furches MySpace Page
Mike Furches MySpace Page
Mike Furches MySpace Blog
Reviews With Mike
The Virtual Pew Sermons
The Virtual Pew News
MySpace Hollywood Jesus Group
MySpace The Virtual Pew Group
The Virtual Pew Live Radio Web Page
To Subscribe to The Virtual Pew Live Feed